My wife and I began our Christmas shopping a few weeks ago now and we had no difficulty finding shops already fully stocked and displaying their seasonal items.
We remarked that Christmas seems to come earlier every year but both of us know that in primary schools all over the country the first lines of this year’s nativity play will already have been written.
This, no doubt, by a teacher with the creativity to be able to include every small child in some meaningful way.
Many a star of stage and screen began as Mary or Joseph, whilst others amongst us only made ‘farmyard animal’.
Quite soon you will be able to hear the first uncertain chords of Little Donkey coming from classrooms and assembly halls as rehearsals begin.
I’m a great believer in the importance of staging a traditional nativity in school, along with a Harvest Festival and Easter service, but at the end of last year’s performance of ‘The Whoopsy Daisy Angel’ a parent remarked that it was good to still see ‘good old fashioned values’ being celebrated.
Were they implying that somehow we were a little out of date, or even worse, out of touch?
Schools are sometimes blamed for many of society’s woes and yet I cannot think of many other institutions that do more to promote the ‘good old fashioned values’ of respect, love for one another, courtesy, kindness and a strong sense of right and wrong.
These might be described as Christian values, deeply rooted and embedded in the ethos, culture and tradition of the school community.
Teachers work hard to promote them and the children carry them through to the next stage of their lives.
They might be seen by some as a ‘little old fashioned’ but perhaps that’s not such a bad thing?
Maybe we should all hold onto our ‘old fashioned values’ for a little while longer?
The world might become a better place for it.